What with the Oscars and all, you might be in a cinematic frame of mind today. So I thought I'd share a movie I saw over the weekend that really touched my heart. It's a 2006 release called BLOOD DIAMOND. It's a complicated film set in war torn Sierra Leone. The cinematography is alternately horrifying and breathtaking.
If you think you might want to see it, you may want to stop reading here because I'd hate to spoil it for you.
But the moment in the film that earns it a place in my heart happens toward the end. Solomon Vandy has walked through hell trying to reclaim his young son, who was taken by the rebels, brainwashed and forced to kill not only government troups, but anyone who crossed their path. (The sight of children using AK-47s is more than disturbing) The boy has chosen a new name for himself, See Me No More. He points his gun at his father, ready to pull the trigger.
Very calmly, with naked love blazing on his face, Solomon Vandy tells his son his name is Dia Vandy and he is a good boy. He was made to do terrible things, but he is not bad inside. He is good. And his mother loves him. His sister waits for him. He has a father who loves him. Solomon will take him home and Dia will be his son once more.
I didn't think anything could reclaim this child, but against unconditional love, nothing can stand. That kind of doubled-down, no-holds-barred, I-love-you-no-matter-what commitment is life-altering. Dare I say it? Redemptive.
And it reminds me that the love I write about should be life-altering too. In Vexing the Viscount, each of my chapters is prefaced by a pithy little quote from a French courtesan's memoirs. Along with several naughty little observations about love, she also offers this insight:
The moment when lovers step back and say, 'I know you and I won't turn away,' is the moment real lovemaking begins.
Romance is about giving and receiving love. It's what we all hope for, and what gives us hope. But love that isn't dependent upon being returned and will dare anything for the loved one is transformative. Unconditional love is the most powerful force on earth.
BLOOD DIAMOND reminded me of that. Have you ever seen a movie or read a book with themes so compelling you thought about it for days afterward? Please share.